Do All Chinese Buddha Statues Look The Same?

Are all Chinese Buddha Statues rotund and laughing? No, they are not. OK, that’s the end of this article… Well, not actually. When I did some research on Chinese Buddha Statues I did find that the Buddhist art steaming from China that is being popularized in the western world is mainly of the Hotei Buddha Statue, but that is not the only type of statues coming out China. When we say “Hotei” we are talking about the depictions of the Buddha who has a large fat belly, wears loose fitting robes, is bald, is either laughing or profoundly smiling and is traditionally holding what is known as a “bag of plenty.”

What is fueling these statues to be so popular in China and across the western world is the lore surrounding them. Rub my belly for good luck” says the laughing Buddha! Hey, I don’t know about you, but whether you believe in that or not… it is just simple enough and fun enough to make just about any one want to rub the Buddha’s Belly; I’m I right? On top of rubbing his belly it is also said that just owning a handcrafted Chinese Buddha Statue will bring good luck, happiness, cheer and wealth. Now, that is even better!!!

The next type of Chinese Buddha Statues being popularized here in the western world seemed to be for Feng Shui applications. Once again I saw the Laughing Buddha being advertised, but in addition to a mere traditional Hotei depiction, this time Buddha was sitting amongst gold ingot coins, red yarns, prayer beads and even his non folding fan. [This fan was used by ancient monarchy to recognize a patron’s request/wish being granted by the crown.] Thus in having this fan, the statue is saying is wishes are to aid you in your life and grant you, your prayers for prosperity, health and wealth.

Lastly, in my research I noticed that many web sites were selling Chinese Buddha Statues that looked just like main stream iconography of the Buddha. What I mean here is a Buddha sculpture of slim to normal physique with equally proportional features in face, eyes, noise chest, hands and arms. And if I was not on a specific Chinese web site, I can be honest, I wouldn’t have been able to differentiate these Buddha Statues for others that I have seen crafted in Thailand, Japan or India. Yet, in contrast to a Nepal style Buddha that is depicted as extra slender in waist and face, which is easily noticeable as Nepal-ian.

Whether if I am looking for Chinese Buddha Statues of the laughing type or normal proportions, I personally prefer the Laughing Hotei statue from China other China’s other exports.

Next Post

Photography Project Ideas - Get Out of Your Box

Sun Apr 30 , 2023
As photographers, we all need to get out of our comfort zone and experiment with new subject matter, in order to freshen our approach, hone our skills, and enhance the creativity in our everyday photography. Each of us has a favourite “something” that we love to photograph. For me, it’s […]

You May Like